Actions

Work Header

Break-Out The Baddies and/or Buddies

Chapter Text

The heavy metal door the general came out of slammed shut. The man in reference slowly walked into the room with an air of relaxation. Hands shoved in his pockets like he wasn't close to breaking many, many laws right now.

Around him in the room full of high-security cells stood some of the world's most wanted people and some of the most nervous. He looked around smug at his ‘accomplishment’.

Steve Rogers stood by the door of his cell watching General Ross with as much hate as he could get to show on his face. He’d gotten them. All of them. Natasha stood straight across the room from him in a cell of her own, Scott and Wanda next to her. Wanda was sitting on the cot in with the same collar and jacket they had graced her with during her first visit. They all had collars now.

Bucky was, however, connected with chains to a wall. Still not awake from the heavy drugs they had sedated both him and Steve with. Sam and Clint were booked in the cells on either side of him. Steve didn't know what Sam looked like, they shared the wall between them.

All of them, except Bucky, now standing. Staring at the Ross as he looked around the room with a self-satisfied smirk on his face. All of them silently hoping for someone to be able to get them out of the hole they were lured into. All of them knowing help probably wasn't on the way at all.

They had been ambushed while leaving Wakanda.

Steve knew the rest of the world wasn't supposed to know they were being sheltered by the king, yet T’Challa had been forgiving and willing the bend the rule as long as they agreed to his. And they had. Staying out of sight as long as possible and being productive by still helping people.

Clint and Scott had been nearing the end of their house arrest sentence, too. Being at home with their families, Steve had no idea how they got the rug pulled out from under them.

They had been given a lead by the bordering country that there had been some groups of people with deadly weapons and inhumane goals, just like the rest of the tips they had been getting. The had made a big mistake.

 

“ Would you look at this turnout.” Ross finally said as he stopped his room gazing and stopped, facing Steve’s cell. “Anything you have to say for yourselves before we get started.?”

“ Get started? You arrested us, what more is there?” Steve could feel the nervousness plant itself inside himself and probably everyone else in the cells around him.

“Well Captain had you all been brought in the first time when Stark was assigned to do so, the agenda would be quite different for you. But now you've made a mess of things. Managed to make the UN rethink their original approach to this whole situation. Your team is in shambles, you’ve have been hiding away where no one could find you for over two years, Captain. The game is bound to change” He continued, “ and trust me, now it has.”

“Then why are we here General?” Ross turned to look at Natasha as she spoke, with the smugness still intact, and an overwhelming amount of anger creeping into his features. He looked like he was just barely containing himself.

“Ms. Romanoff, have any of you in your hiding been keeping up with the news at all? Not checking your daily news feed for any snippets of news?” Natasha and the rest of the team returned him with a flat look. They barely had contact with the outside world for the time they've spent in Wakanda. Only hearing what was relevant to them at the time through the King when he found it necessary.

Ross sensed as much and continued anyways “The UN has revoked the Sokovia Accords on the premise that since many still believe that the world will need you all, they would come up with another way to scoot around the issue. If you ask me that's bullshit.” Ross spat out the last of his statement.

This was news to Steve. Surely to the others as well.

“You all serve a bigger purpose now. I need certain things from each of you.” He addressed the room now, turning to walk on the upper walkway by the cell bars “Unfortunately for you, those things are in your head. Don't worry I’ll get them.” He finally turned and walked back to the sliding door had come out of. “One way or another.”

His exit was marked by the slam of the metal door.

Each person in the room looked at one another, all having a sliver of an idea of what was to come upon them.

 

- - - - - - - -

 

“If the Accords have been revoked then he has no legal reason to have us here.”

“Yeah well, if you really do think he's working under the table here, being out in the middle of the ocean really isn’t gonna help our case. No one's gonna be monitoring this place.” Natasha paused. “Not regularly at least.”

“That's if they even know we're here.” Scott’s statement seemed to draw a close to Sam and Natasha’s discussion.

The past eleven days they've been on the Raft. Still, no idea what exactly Ross’s end goal is with interrogating them. Each of them, except for Bucky, had been taken at different times each day and ‘questioned’. Some times Natasha and Clint would come back with red and purple marks newly made on their bodies. Wanda always came back with tears streaming down her face, never wanting to talk about it. The rest of them were just tired.

But it was enough for them to understand that Ross was now working out of hate and in spite of the fact that they had made a fool of him and his work. Now, he just wanted them to suffer.

Chapter Text

After two and a half weeks of the same bland yet still agonizing routine, the heroes began to lose hope of escaping. They were being watched and listened to around the clock.

Both times they had tried to even try and come up with a way to escape their floating hell, they were either shocked into blissful unconsciousness, or bright blue gases made its way into each of the cells and did the same thing just with more hallucinogenic effects.

The only way they were able to keep track is the feeding schedule. Once they were all fed after attending and returning from their respective ‘appointments’ they would get food. That was how they marked the days, and Natasha was keeping small ticks on the metal shelf that was her bed.

After the first week, they talked, trying to keep spirits up. Since their second attempt in leaving, they only talk in short breaks between silence.

Bucky seemed to be ever-present in his cell. He was never taken and never unchained from the wall. He had just enough length in his restraints to lay down and use the small toilet in the corner. The necessities. He also couldn't stop feeling the massive amount of guilt he gave himself.

This entire situation started with him, and it could have been avoided. How? He didn't like to think too much into that part.

Wanda seemed to be the fan-favorite of the takeaway guards. She always seemed to be gone longer than the others, according to Steve and Nat at least.

They would always use the collar to administer small doses of drugs when they needed to move her. Clint and Steve tried to get her to talk about it at first, hoping it would somehow make her feel less like a guinea pig.

She wouldn't say anything. Only brief words to Clint were spoken from the girl. But in between her rounds of heavy drugs and mental assault, Vison would also make brief appearances in her conscious mind.

Sam, Clint, and Natasha were trained for this sort of thing. To a degree.

They did what they could for the others, offering reassurances and conversation and comfort. But after they were left alone to their thoughts for too long. Clint would wonder about his family, wondering if Laura would contact anyone about the weeks of not being on his house arrest sentence.

Or she thinks I'm working again. He didn't want to do that to her, not after all of this.

Natasha would even voice the thought of the world looking for them since they were technically no longer outside the law.

Scott’s ‘questioning’ was always and never failed to be about the Pym Particle. They knew he didn't know how it was created. But they were relentless. Cassie was always a constant in his mind and the thought of her was calming. His little girl always had that effect.

Steve seemed to be in an everpresent battle with himself. Between trying to keep his family around him from losing hope altogether, and trying to keep his own guilt from killing him all on its own. He’s starting to believe that none of this was ever worth it. The imprisonment. He should have tried harder to work this out.

Maybe then these people wouldn't be in the same literal boat they were in anyways.

Sure they all made the collective decision not to sign those stupid papers, but Steve hadn't ever imagined the world would lock up international icons. And perhaps that's where he began to get a bit big-headed and cocky about his whole ‘let's go against the law!’ adventuring spree.

And yet Ross still said they threw out the accords. It was Ross who was working out of the law now.

He had at least knew T’Challa would have had to notice their absence by now. How could he not? They had been working together on that mission. T’Challa had given them the green light when Steve and Natasha approached him about it.

And somewhere just inside his heart, he hoped Tony had at least been told. And was another pile of guilt he had yet to shovel off his shoulders.

Tony was a good man, steve believed this. Surely if they had come up missing, he would be putting in some effort to find them? Yet they weren't on friendly terms anymore.

Ross and his men made sure to mention that every time they would drag him off to God knows where.

He had no way of knowing for sure anything Tony may or may not do anymore. He sure as hell wouldn't tell him.

And Steve couldn't blame him. It not like I told him anything when I should have.

Soft taps broke Steve's concentration of his enter most thoughts. At first, he sat quietly, listening to the thumps that seemed to travel too loudly around the circled room.

Before Steve could get up to investigate further, Sam beat him to it.

“ You have got to be kidding me. What even is that?”

“It's called sticks. Cooper taught it to me, said he learned it at school.” Clint replied.

“And why does that involve you tapping against the bars? Can’t you see I've got shit to do over here…. Like staring at the wall?” Sam sarcastically asked as he came to the front of his cell and sat down to watch the game Clint seemed to be playing with Wanda.

“Each time you tap another person's finger, they had to add the number of fingers you're pointing out to their own, first to over 5 fingers loses," Wanda softly explained.

“I thought it was first over ten? At least that's what Cassie taught me.”

They went on like this for almost half an hour. Until everyone had been taught and played two rounds of the children's finger game.

Then it went back to silence.

Until Ross barged back into the room again at least.

“Now that you're all done playing around like a bunch of dumbasses, I’d like to introduce you all to your new friend,” He strode in to the middle of the room and pointed to the men behind him to the cell just next to Scotts, “He will be staying with us for the forseeable future.”

The men went as directed, carrying in the smaller body of a man none of them recognized from the black bag over his head.

The man didn't move or talk. Unconscious, they expected. Some of them gathered at the front of their cells, eager and terrified to see who was joining them in a manmade hell.

The men ross pointed along threw the guy in with no care or grace and allowed him to hit the floor hard.

Ross had the cell bars slide back into place and the heavy lifters leave. Ross stays behind to look into the cell of the new arrival, smirking to himself like he was proud of what he’s done.

He probably is.

Ross backs up and turns to walk back where he came from, but not before yelling behind him.

“Enjoy your stay Spiderman!” And then the door shut and it was quiet again.

Chapter Text

The next time anybody went into Spiderman’s cell, he was starting to join the conscious world again. They took (dragged) him back out with the black bag still in place over his head, groaning and presumably in pain.

The guards entering the room had gathered the attention from the other Avengers. Their curious glances turned sympathetic as they all had a pretty good idea of what the guy was about to endure.

“So I guess that's the guy Tony got to tag along with him at the airport?” Clint asked almost tentatively.

“Guess so,” Steve replied. The guy seemed within the same size as the red-dressed man they'd met before.

“He sided with Tony on the Accords. Ross shouldn't have any reason to hold him here,” Natasha paused, “unless for some reason in the past two weeks he left the country and went apeshit, which I seriously doubt. Last time I checked Tony seemed to have been motoring him and helping him along.”

“You think Ross has just resorted to kidnapping people until he gets what he wants?” Scott suggested.

“You looked him in the eyes lately?” Sam butted in, “Man’s gone crazy.”

A beat of silence lapped over the space.

“You don't think they'll hurt him too much do you?” Wanda asked with concern lacing her words, “I remember hearing him talking in Germany, he sounded pretty young.”

“I wish, but I wouldn't put it past them at this point,” Steve added after just listening to the others.

“If they are working with the mindset of having contained extremely specialized or enhanced individuals, they won't have the second thoughts to regard his age in whatever shit they're about to put him through. If it gets them closer to whatever they want to do or know, they'll do it,” Bucky stated finally in an even tone. He had barely spoken since first waking up in the prison, and he couldn't help but revert back to the same disassociating behavior he had been forced to for who knows how long.

Unfortunately, they all knew he was right.

- - -

“You done over there champ?”

The kid spit into the hidden toilet in response. After several deep breaths to try and regain this composure from the upheaving of the last of his Thai leftovers, he slugged back up to the front of his own cell. His childhood idols stared back at him.

Sighing and leaning his head back onto the cool wall behind him he glanced back at the others.

“Yeah,” He responded back tiredly, and resigned, “I'm done.”

“You okay Queens? Ya know, besides the obvious issue here.” Steve asked him

“Um... I think so? I mean I still have both kidneys in my back, and they didn't shave my head, so I might be okay for now.” He answered the solider back in an unsure tone. “Worse things have happened.”

“Mmm… So you’re Spiderman.” Clint quizzed.

“Yup.”

“And I'm guessing you’re not here on your own free will?”

“What gave it away?”

“Well, at first it was the manhandling and them dragging you around like a cat on a leash, but now it's more leaning towards the fact you have a collar around your neck too. Plus the fact you look like you got put through an airplane turbine mid-flight.”

“Clint, try not to insult and piss him off, he’s not even been here a day. What's your name kid?” Natasha’s voice carried through the room. It was steady, but still gentle when she addressed him.

He didn't respond at first, but he eventually lowered his head to look at Clint with a smirk creeping onto his face. “So what, are you saying I don't look pretty?” He closed his slightly swollen eyes and brought his head back against the wall with a slight thump. “Its Peter, I kinda know who all of you are already.”

“And how exactly did you get caught up in their little trap? What did they make you walk on to a piece of paper and put a cup over you?” Sam asked, annoyed that this tiny kid had been able to put him on his ass.

“No. It happened more in the form of barging into my school while I was there after school for practice. I think they knocked me out or something.” Peter told them grimly.

“School? Like Highschool?” Steve asked while looking down at his feet.

Peter sighed and replied yup, popping the ‘p’ as he did so.

Silence filled the room. Peter wasn't thrilled about telling them about himself. But it was probably better to do it himself rather than Ross running his mouth and doing it for him.

“You said you were at practice? What do you play?” Scott asked seemingly trying to lighten the guilt covering the room.

“Not a sport, academic decathlon actually. We won nationals last year.”

“Oh? So he’s smart and pretty.” Clint smirked.

Peter gave a huff of amusement at that, “Glad you noticed.”

“I'm guessing you've been here a helluva lot less than we have.” Sam nodded in his direction, “What's happening topside?”

He sighed again, “Well I'm guessing I've already been here for a couple of days at the most. But I do know that you guys are causing a lot of problems for the UN. Considering no one has heard from you or seen you in about a month. I think King T’Challa will have enough flight points by the end of the year to get a free trip to Asgard. He's been in between Wakanda and New York a lot. I met him a couple of weeks ago, so that was pretty awesome,” He rambled.

“Why so much back and forth?”

“T’Challa flies commercial?”

Natasha and Clint asked at the same time. Natasha must have sent a look his way because he raised his hands in defense.

“Um, I think he and Mr. Stark keep meeting to discuss what they find. Mr. Stark didn't tell me too much about it, but he said something about combining resources to find the ‘world's stupidest people”. Peter smirked down at his hands but when he saw a look come across Steve’s face he backtracked, “He was joking! Don't worry. He actually is really confused though. About a week after you were all pardoned and all, he was always glancing and messing with the flip-phone he usually keeps in his desk.”

They had all, more or less, been present when Steve got the burner phone and wrote the letter to Tony. Hope began to flare in their chests at the kid’s news.

“They’re looking for us?” Wanda asked quietly.

“Well, yeah. Mr. Stark felt pretty weird about the fact you guys hadn't turned up yet. And then Mrs. Barton called him saying you disappeared. Same with Ms. Hope. Vision even said he hadn't heard from Wanda at all when Mr. Stark asked him.”

Wanda’s face remained neutral but her tears got a little shiny, he could tell. Even though the bars, Peter could hear the soft intake of breath from the cell beside him.

- - -

For the next couple of days, they went through the normal schedule the prison seemed to put them on. They all tried not to notice that their time away from their cells got shorter and Peter’s got longer. All ways in worse shape than before and not seeming to get any better. For someone with a healing factor, it was concerning at the least.

He tried not to let it affect him though. The others admired the young guy as well as hurt for him.

Peter, when asked about his optimism, seemed to hang onto his hope that if nothing Tony would find them. He eventually told them all about meeting Iron Man and how he became his ‘intern’. The others were glad to listen to someone talking about something other than their empty silence.

On one particular evening though, Peter wasn't brought back until well after their dinner had been served. He was being dragged again. Not totally uncommon, but this time he was out cold. Even when the man dragging him was careless and caused him to smack his head on the wall when he got tossed into the cell.

And just behind them, a man came in dragging a much smaller figure.

If the others hadn't been paying attention before they definitely did as Clint hit the bars at the front of his cell at full force, screaming as he did so.

Even Bucky moved around to see the small body of a sobbing and terrified Nathaniel Barton get shoved into the same cell as an unconscious Peter.

Chapter Text

The cells and their occupants were deathly silent. Waiting for Peter to give them the go-ahead to talk amongst themselves, though none of them really felt like it.

“Is he asleep yet?” Clint tried to whisper with his raw and scratchy voice. He hadn't found the will or the want to move from where he was currently kneeling at the front of the cell, his head cradled between two bars. His gaze remained on the cell across the room where his little baby was sleeping.

Sighing Peter mumbled in the answer just loud enough for the rest to hear him, “Yeah, I think he finally wore himself out enough.”

The group let out a collective but quiet sigh.

“He doesn't look to banged up though, just a little cut on his nose. His arms do seem a little red and tender though.”

‘From where they manhandled him’, went unsaid. They all knew what it was from.

They all sat there saying nothing listening to the soft snores coming from the baby in a prison cell. Clint had spent a good 20 minutes yelling and screaming his voice raw for someone to explain what exactly his child had done to end up in this place.

He had been willing to give Ross anything he wanted if it meant his baby wasn't here. They would have had to take Nate from home. And he had spent a fair amount of time wondering what happened with Laura and his other two babies.

Clint had come to the conclusion that Sam had been wrong. Ross hadn't gone mad. He had actually lost his everloving mind. There was no longer a functioning brain between his ears. He had brought in an innocent, precious little boy into a high-security prison just to get some unknown and non-existent information out of his father.

Clint wishes he knew what they wanted him to say.

Natasha had finally been the one to end Clint’s yelling after a while. It was only scaring the poor boy more, and Peter had looked like he wanted to cry himself. She would bet money that everyone had a similar look on their faces.

In the past two years, she had never hoped and begged to herself for Tony to find them faster.

Scott hadn't said a word since the boy came into the room. He’d recognized him and began to panic. Wondering if his little girl would be thrown into Hell next. He was terrified.

- - - - -

Peter loved kids. How could he not, they were innocent and had little cubby smiles. He got the most happiness out of guiding lost kids find their parents and helping them when they needed him.

But he hated this.

He didn't hate Nathaniel, he hated that the kid was here in the first place. He could understand himself being stowed away in an international underwater prison in the middle of the Atlantic. He must have actually pissed someone off enough to be targeted in the first place. The others had been previous convicts and broke a law or several.

Nate, on the other hand, had done nothing. He was terrified. He probably doesn't know where he is, doesn't understand why he could see his daddy across the room and wouldn't come get him (the numerous times he made grabby hand motions towards Clint’s cell while sobbing said that clearly enough). Clint had been able to calm him down a bit, but the ever-present wailing from the child had set Peter into action the moment he had regained consciousness.

As gently as he could, he’d sat beside the baby on his cell bed and brought him into his lap. Shushing and rocking him gently along with Clint telling him that Peter wasn’t gonna hurt him, and finally got him to start calming down.

Eventually, he passed out in Peters's lap and curled up against him, and Peter wiped the tears off his face, and he hated it.

He wanted so badly to be back at home with May and curl up in her bed with her like he did when he was younger and felt scared in his own bed by himself.

He wanted to be at the Tower with Mr. Stark laying on the couch with his head in his lap while Dum-E tried to tuck Mr. Starks ridiculously expensive wool and silk blanket around him.

Not underwater. Not freezing in his thin jumpsuit. Not on the verge of starving so he could be somebody's little experiment. He wanted to go home. He wanted Nathaniel to be back at his house with both of his parents and siblings. He wanted the rest of the heroes to be able to go home too.

He wanted Mr. Stark to find them. He just didn't know how long that would be taking.

- - - -

Days later, they were losing all possible hope of ever leaving. Clint was always at the front of his cell sitting on the floor so that if Nate needed to see him he could.

The rest of them had long gone quiet. The causal discussions had all but stopped. It seemed to make Ross happy too, to seemingly haven broken Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

They had lost hope. Tony wasn't coming. Vision wasn't coming. Fury wasn't coming.

Nobody was.

Yet one day, when the overhead lights came on, brightening up the room more, and Ross came storming in glaring hard at all of them.

They were confused, he had stopped coming in days ago.

Ross started walking around, passing each cell looking at the tired and quiet prisoners. Peter was still unconscious on the floor and Nate was sitting by his head with his thumb in his mouth.

None of them saw the orange sparking circle start to appear out of thin air in the second entryway across from where Ross had entered.

By the time Ross had turned around, he was greeted by another person who wasn't even looking at him. Seemingly unbothered by the fact Ross was standing there. Gazing around the room and cells with a frown on his face.

Steve saw Ross’s facial expression change from confused to utter rage, though he seemed to try and hide it some. Though he didn't see or hear the man who had just come into the room, there was no mistaking the voice that carried through the room shocking all of them into attention.

When Bruce finally made eye contact with Ross, he stepped up to the railing around the cell’s walkway.

“So,” he said as he sighed and crossed his arms, “I’m starting to think this is how you solve all of your problems,”

Natasha had the pleasure of watching the vein on General Ross’s forehead nearly pop.